Sixth in the Dark Arts Books anthology series, When the Night Comes Down allows readers to take a peek into the writing styles of four talented author...moreSixth in the Dark Arts Books anthology series, When the Night Comes Down allows readers to take a peek into the writing styles of four talented authors: Joseph D'Lacey; Bev Vincent; Robert E. Weinberg; and Nate Kenyon. Within the collected stories, any horror reader should find at least one they truly enjoy, and many will find several. I had at least one favorite by each of the included authors. Joseph D'Lacey's "The Unwrapping of Alastair Perry" details a time in Alastair's life during which he peels off the layers of his skin in order to morph into other lifeforms and experience things that these other beings (whether a person of the opposite sex, reptilian creature, etc...) would experience. In "Knock 'Em Dead", Bev Vincent takes readers into the life of an author that feels his booksignings must be cursed, as, at each one, someone ends up dying. Another great Vincent story in this collection is "Something In Store", where a bookstore manages to "come to life" as it expands due to the owners' desires. Robert E. Weinberg's "Elevator Girls" makes convention attendees think twice about entering an elevator with an attractive looking girl, as his "elevator girls" have a bit more going for them beyond good looks and seductive appeal. Nate Kenyon puts a new twist on the tiresome zombie stories in "Gravedigger". A couple of young guys have found that dead bodies are a good way to smuggle drugs; however, they hadn't expected that the drugs might have some ill-wanted effects on the corpses they had used. These are just a handful of the great stories that I enjoyed in When the Night Comes Down,and based on what kinds of subgenres readers enjoy, many will have differing favorites. This collection, along with all of the Dark Arts Books anthologies, is a great way for readers to discover new voices in the horror industry. Many anthologies only allow readers to get a glimpse of an author, with only one story by each author, or are collected works of a particular author. Unlike these anthologies, each author gets his own section to showcase several offerings. What John Everson and Bill Breedlove have created with this publishing company is a much different approach, giving each author an opportunity to shine as they introduce readers to their various writing styles through the inclusion of multiple stories. I would recommend this collection as well as any of the other books in Dark Arts' line of books to all horror fans and feel they would make a great addition to all libraries.
Bill Breedlove - Powered By Brains (introduction)
Joseph D'Lacey - The Unwrapping of Alastair Perry Etoile's Tree Introscopy Morag's Fungus The Quiet Ones
Bev Vincent - Silvery Moon Knock 'Em Dead Something In Store Purgatory Noir
Robert E. Weinberg - Elebator Girls The One Answer That Really Matters Maze
Nate Kenyon - Breeding the Demons Gravedigger One With the Music The Buzz of a Thousand Wings
Jeff Strand's latest mass market release, Dweller, follows the life of a boy named Toby as he matures and ages. At the start, Toby is an eight year ol...moreJeff Strand's latest mass market release, Dweller, follows the life of a boy named Toby as he matures and ages. At the start, Toby is an eight year old boy who likes to explore the woods. One day he walks a bit deeper into the woods than his parents allow him, stumbles into a "monster", and runs! Seven years later, at age fifteen, Toby is dealing with the trauma of being tormented by the bullies at school and with being an outcast, and he still spends much of his time in the woods when not at school. One day he happens upon a cave and discovers the "monster" that he thought was created by his childhood imagination once again. Instead of running this time, Toby tries talking to him. The "monster" doesn't attack and Toby starts to visit him regularly, bringing him food, telling him stories, naming him Owen, and ultimately becoming best friends with him. Of course, can being friends with a creature such as Owen truly end well?
Dweller is noted as being Jeff Strand's second "serious" novel. However, I was pleasantly surprised that this release featured much more of Strand's humor than his previous release, Pressure, did. As stated above, the book is written over the course of numerous years, but is written in a format where certain years are focused upon. The other years are covered by chapters titled "glimpses" which feature snapshots from the years in between. This is a unique technique that I hadn't seen before, as most books just jump forward ten or twenty years, leaving the reader guessing at what occurred in the middle. Strand allows us to experience Toby's life as it progresses with these special chapters, and we watch Toby graduate, move out from home, get married, and so on. At the same time, we watch the continued friendship between Toby and Owen progress. So far this isn't sounding too much of a horror novel, now is it? Think again! There is a very dark storyline mixed within that will leave readers shocked. I would say more, but doing so may spoil the surprise. Let's just say that Owen doesn't JUST like ice cream for a treat! For readers who have yet to enjoy the works of Jeff Strand, Dweller is a great first book to read as it explores many elements of Strand's writing style. Many of his books are extremely humorous. In contrast, Pressure is dark and serious. Dweller, on the other hand, mixes these styles up and Strand churns out a story that is unforgettable. Highly recommended!
Contains: Adult Language, Adult Situations, Mild Violence, Mild Gore